|Height:||163 cm (5' 5'')|
|Birth Day:||July 6, 1958|
|Birth Place:||Sleaford, England|
Created and starred on BBC's Absolutely Fabulous with Dawn French from 1992 to 2012. She also provided the voices of the Fairy Godmother in the film Shrek 2 and The Queen in Minions.
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She worked as an au pair in Italy for a year after graduating high school.
Jennifer Jane Saunders was born on 6 July 1958 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England. Her mother, Barbara Jane Saunders née Duminy, was a biology teacher, and her father, Robert Thomas Saunders, served as a pilot in the Royal Air Force (RAF). He reached the rank of group captain, and later worked for British Aerospace. She has three brothers. As her father was in the armed forces during her childhood years, Saunders changed schools many times. She was educated from the age of five to 18 in boarding schools and then at St Paul's Girls' School, an independent school in west London. After school, she worked for a year in Italy as an au pair.
In 1977, Saunders received a place at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London on a drama teachers' course, where she met her future comedy partner, Dawn French. French and Saunders came from RAF backgrounds, and had grown up on the same base, even having had the same best friend, without ever meeting. The comic duo originally did not get on well, and as far as Saunders was concerned, French was a "cocky little upstart". The distrust was mutual: French considered Saunders snooty and uptight. French wanted to become a drama teacher, whereas Saunders loathed the idea and had not fully understood what the course was about; thus, she disliked French for being enthusiastic and confident about the course. Saunders was shocked to find that she was taking a course to become a teacher, as her mother had filled in the application form. Her mother was saddened when Saunders chose not to apply for an Oxbridge university education.
The comedy group appeared on Channel 4's first night on air, in the first episode of The Comic Strip Presents: Five Go Mad In Dorset, broadcast on 2 November 1982. In the episodes "Bad News" and "More Bad News", Saunders plays a trashy rock journalist touring with the fictional heavy metal band Bad News.
In 1985, Saunders starred in and co-wrote Girls on Top with French, Tracey Ullman, and Ruby Wax, which portrayed four eccentric women sharing a flat in London. Saunders also appeared in Ben Elton's Happy Families where she played various members of the same family, including all four Fuddle sisters in the six-episode BBC situation comedy. Saunders starred in a Comic Strip film called The Supergrass, a little-known parody of slick 1980s police dramas, directed by Peter Richardson. Saunders played Meryl Streep playing Arthur Scargill's wife in Strike, a Comic Strip spoof on the 1984 miners' strike. She appeared twice as a guest on The Young Ones.
Saunders married Ade Edmondson on 11 May 1985, in Cheshire. They have three daughters and four grandchildren.
In 1987, she and French created French and Saunders, a popular sketch comedy series for the BBC, which aired until 2007. By the end of the 1980s, the show was an established comedy programme and became a staple in BBC viewing. Saunders also appeared in Amnesty International's The Secret Policeman's Biggest Ball live benefit in 1989, along with Dawn French and others.
Saunders has appeared on the American sitcoms Roseanne, playing Edina Monsoon in the episode "Satan, Darling", and Friends as Andrea Waltham, the step-mother of Emily, Ross Geller's fiancée, in the episodes "The One After Ross Says Rachel" and "The One with Ross's Wedding". Although they don't share any scenes, Jennifer's Absolutely Fabulous co-star June Whitfield also appeared in The One With Ross's Wedding. In 1999, she appeared alongside French in Let Them Eat Cake.
Along with Dawn French, Saunders declined an OBE in 2001.
In 2003, she was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. Saunders was placed 93rd out of E!'s 100 Sexiest British Stars. She also came 18th for Best British Role Models for teenage girls in Britain according to Good Housekeeping Magazine.
For the animated movie Shrek 2 in 2004, she provided the character voice of Princess Fiona's evil Fairy Godmother and singing the songs "The Fairy Godmother Song" and "Holding Out For a Hero." Her part took only four days to record. The sequel broke the first Shrek's own box office record in the U.S in just a fortnight, and it proceeded to make $353 million in just three weeks in the U.S.
Her role won the People's Choice Award for the best movie villain in 2005. She voiced Miss Spink in the animated film Coraline, in which her comedy partner Dawn French voiced a character called Miss Forcible. In 2015, she voiced Queen Elizabeth II in the animated film Minions, and in 2016, she voiced Miss Nana Noodleman in the animated film Sing.
In 2005, Saunders was named the fourth funniest woman in Britain in a poll of 4,000 women. To date, she has been nominated for and received many awards, including:
Saunders wrote and starred in a comedy drama about a Women's Institute entitled Jam & Jerusalem, also known as Clatterford in the United States. The first series aired in 2006, the second in 2008, and the third in 2009 on BBC One. The show starred David Mitchell, Sally Phillips, and Sue Johnston, as well as Dawn French and Joanna Lumley.
In 2007, Saunders and psychologist Tanya Byron wrote BBC Two's The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle about a neurotic daytime talk show host. The show ran for one series. Saunders played the eponymous character whose programme features crude headlines such as "Wife a slapper? Lie detector reveals all".
Also in 2007, the final series of French & Saunders aired. A Bucket o' French & Saunders featured a compilation of old and new sketches and aired on BBC One in September 2007. It was the third show she had written in a year. In 2008 and 2009, French & Saunders completed their final live tour, French & Saunders: Still Alive.
Saunders was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Exeter in July 2007. In July 2011, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Edge Hill University.
In July 2010, Saunders stated that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer the previous October, and was in remission following a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.
In 2011, Saunders wrote and appeared in "Uptown Downstairs Abbey", the Comic Relief parody of the critically acclaimed historical television dramas Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs. Playing the Dowager Countess, she starred alongside Lumley, Kim Cattrall, Victoria Wood, Harry Enfield, Patrick Barlow, Dale Winton, Olivia Colman, Tim Vine, Simon Callow, Michael Gambon, and Harry Hill.
In 2012, Saunders guest-starred in Dead Boss, a BBC Three comedy set in the fictional Broadmarsh prison where she plays the cruel and work-shy governor, Margaret. The show's creator, Sharon Horgan, stated that she 'begged' Saunders to take the role, having been a fan of Saunders' previous comedy work.
On 27 August 2012, Saunders and Edmondson became grandparents when one of their daughters gave birth to a boy. They became grandparents for the second time in February 2014. Their third granddaughter was born in August 2016.
In 2013, Saunders starred as Connie in the BBC adaptation of Blandings by P. G. Wodehouse. In 2017, Saunders appeared on the Simpsons episode "Looking for Mr. Goodbart" as an elderly woman accompanied around by Bart.
Saunders published her autobiography, Bonkers: My Life in Laughs, in October 2013.
Currently, Jennifer Saunders is 64 years, 5 months and 1 days old. Jennifer Saunders will celebrate 65th birthday on a Thursday 6th of July 2023.
Find out about Jennifer Saunders birthday activities in timeline view here.